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Posts posted by scoutergipper

  1. Our Troop has a Scout with a severe nut allergy, which also includes soy. We became a "no peanuts" Troop the minute he joined. His dad is very active and along on every campout, and the Scout is now old enough that he knows what he can have and can't have.


    I understand your concern. I hope you will be able to serve this Scout despite his allergy.

  2. We normally have Adults drive, although in some cases (like Summer Camp) we borrow vans from our CO. We do not load the back seat with either Scouts or gear, and it appears that doing so could be one cause of the instability of the vans. So while that cuts down on our carrying capacity a bit, they still hold 11 people - more than my car :).


    As we've grown the last 3 years, sufficient transportation for Scouts and gear has started to become an issue.

  3. We also use "Start, Stop, Continue." In my mind, it's all "reflection" which is the word I use during Court of Honor or when I'm describing the program to Adults. Whatever term you choose, the important thing is that the Scouts understand the purpose.

  4. It surprises me a little that you offered only a single specific solution like that. I usually use open-ended questions like "Well, what's another way you could get breakfast?" (although to be honest I would be very unlikely to be involved in a situation such as you describe, because I'm very, very rarely in a Patrol campsite and during the breakfast hour would be enjoying some coffee or orange juice in the Adult campsite).


    AAR's are very effective learning tools. We try to always have the Scouts do them immediately after an activity (particularly campouts) as even waiting until the next Troop or PLC meeting leads to loss of clarity in the Scouts' memory.

  5. NSP is together from March/April through Summer Camp. In September, everyone can choose whatever Patrol they want - 6-8 as well, let me know who's leading it. I encourage Scouts to try and work out their differences if they can when they don't like their Patrol for some reason, but it ain't jail. We don't have much shuffling around - one so far since last September.

  6. It's always discouraging to hear stories of Adults working so hard to ruin what should be a great experience for everyone. But I've never been in any youth organization where there weren't parents causing problems for no reason.


    I hope this will work out for the good of the Scouts and that the new CM either realizes that's who he's supposed to be serving, or finds some other youth organization to ruin.


    One piece of advice - "I am saying its wrong IMO to force someone away from their son when they' want to be with him." This raised a red flag for me in regard to your son's future in Boy Scouts. Opportunities to hang out with or work with your son are (or should be) dramatically less in Boy Scouts than in Cub Scouts. The best policy as a new Boy Scout parent is to be "hands off" and let the other Scouts work with him.

  7. We've started to run into this as we've become a bigger Troop over the last few years (now at 40 Scouts). We are fortunate that we can borrow our CO's large vans and have an Adult with another large van, so after that it's just gear and have several families with large pick-ups and one with a trailer.


    In a group of 100 families, you are certain to have plenty of these kinds of resources. I agree that a personal discussion with each family is in order until you find what you need. I would recruit other Committee Members to help with this outreach. It is the Committee's job to ensure the Scouts have the resources they need for the Program - if campouts are cancelled, that's a fail for the Committee.

  8. I empathize, TCD. I have a Scout with similar problems. Always walks around with something in one hand so he "can't help" with things like carrying canoes to the lake. The Scouts don't like him - he almost ended up without a Patrol last Fall until the SPL stepped in and enabled him, which had predictable results for that Patrol (and hopefully a learning experience for the SPL). He has only a nodding acquaintance with the Oath & Law. I've told both the Scout and his parents I'm not sure this is the right program for him. It appears to me the parents have equal parts denial and hope about this kid. I've denied him advancement (last advancement was 15 months ago), tried friendly advice, stern talking-tos, etc. As mentioned above, I'm just not sure he wants to be in Scouts and might be there only because dad wants it.


    On the other hand, I have several other Scouts with varying degrees of squirrelishness (firebugs, overly aggressive, disrespectful, etc) who have reacted positively to things like being on a rank advancement hiatus for a while. But if the kid doesn't care about it, it's not effective to take it away.

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  9. My personal Scouting experience is as Stosh describes - my Patrol camped independently of any Adults. Now, the home of the Patrol Leader and his younger brother was probably 500 yards away through the woods (in one instance), so emergency evac was close if required, but for 36 hours or so, we were really "on our own." Never had a problem.


    I tell this story to Adults frequently (probably too frequently) as an example of how Scouting has changed. The Scouts schedule official "Patrol Campouts" and we dutifully send along two Adults, but they have firm instructions about how much time to spend in the Scout campsite (zero) and how far away they should camp (at least 300'). I have explained to the Patrol Leaders that if their Patrol wants to go out and camp together some time as friends (and not "officially" as Scouts), I'm all for it.


    What this boils down to for me is this: I had a very interesting conversation with my DE a while ago during which he complained a bit about another SM who has been with his Troop in that position for probably 25 years. The DE didn't care much for this, but his complaint was based solely on the number of years and "giving someone else a chance" than whether the guy is doing a good job or not.


    Scouting is not an Adult program. It is not intended to "give a chance" to Adults (this is why I am skeptical about changing the leadership standards - this program is not about giving opportunities to Adults and changing those standards is not going to give the Scouts anything they don't get from society at large every day of the week). Any Adult in the program who thinks "It's all about me!" is in the wrong program.

  10. What kind of changes are we talking about?


    Are you going to be standing alone for these changes, or do you have some Adult support from some folks?


    Changes usually don't work if no one supports them. It can be a real challenge, but if you're moving the Pack back towards a "real" Scout program without support, I would suggest a gradual approach.

  11. Everyone knows 20 people they could invite to a Scouting event who aren't involved in Scouting. Friends, neighbors, work colleagues, families from school, etc. Coupled with a little local marketing and door-to-door ticket selling, I suspect you could do a huge event without really straining. We used to do 400 for a softball spaghetti dinner with the girls not coming close to selling their ticket quota (20 each).

  12. Technically, there's nothing wrong with one person who can counsel all three citizenship merit badges. As a Scoutmaster, however, I'd never assign the same person to do all three with the same Scout. In fact, I've obtained our District MB Counselor list, and have started to recommend adults outside our Troop to the Scouts.


    Our Committee - when meeting in Boards of Review - officially frowns on one Adult dominating any Scout's Merit Badge or Advancement work. You might remind your SM that it is a violation of the Methods for a Scout to not have numerous and diverse "adult associations."

  13. I agree, and it's not just Camporees or other District/Council events. I suspect Scouts feel this way about going to even the greatest, most interesting campground year after year after year. Mixing it up and having new adventures is a key component to keeping older boys in Scouting.

  14. $300 a year for returning Scouts, $100 at Cross Over - does not include camping food or Summer Camp, but does include outfitting of a lot of Patrol gear (once - if they lose or break it, the Patrol pays to replace). The reality is that very few families actually pay this - a Scout who works at it a little can fundraise all this money, and Summer Camp money and High Adventure money. In addition, no Scout is turned away if his family cannot pay - we either add extra fundraising, or scholarship them.

  15. Happily, my unit(s) don't experience any problems based on your post. Our Pack, Troop and Crew (and, frankly, our Troop and most of the Packs in about a 10-mile radius) enjoy close contact and work together well. This is because we choose to make it that way and aren't counting on someone in Texas detailing "rules" to somehow force it to happen.


    Girls would ruin Boy Scouts - I've polled the Scouts and they're 100 percent against it - most volunteered they'd leave if girls were let in. This is an Adult idea based on Adult concepts of "fairness" and other politically-correct nonsense.


    I was a little surprised that the decision was made to limit Venturing to 18 as "youth." Most decisions BSA has made over the years are intended to expand the kinds of people who could be called "Boy Scouts." I agree with those that believe a consistent age standard is the way to go. Crew currently has no members older than 18 anyway, and it's hard to imagine very many college students being active in a Crew 1500 miles away.


    Boy Scouts recognizes the importance of faith in life. It always astonishes me when someone involved in the program seems surprised by that fact - I mean it's right there in the Oath and Law - "Duty to God," "reverent." Zero subtlety there, but only one small part of a larger program. The great thing is that Scouts is a voluntary association - if one doesn't like the faith-based aspects, he or she can go find an atheist organization to belong to. I don't know what "general population" you believe is out there, but 75 percent of Americans profess a belief in some kind of God. Focusing our efforts on placating the minority - while currently popular in the country and in Scouting - is hardly a recipe for success.


    If I were Bob Gates, I'd tell Councils to focus their efforts in two areas: fundraising to build endowments for the future and to purchase and maintain camping properties and building Cub Scout membership.

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  16. On a tangent, it's hard for me to imagine a Troop with 22 families of Adults and only one or two wants to camp. Even before I took an Adult Leadership position, I loved to camp with the Adult Patrol, even though I wasn't previously much of an outdoorsman. We've always had a ton of Adults available. The Committee's job s to ensure whatever resources the boys need are available - including insisting on 2-deep Leadership assistance if their help is necessary to secure it. The CC should be backstopping you by insisting Adults make themselves available for outings, whether they "like" to go or not.

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